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Should Plumbers Have Legal Liability Protection?

   |  May 23, 2016

I recently read an article where a lady hired a plumber to do some work on her pipes in her home, however, due to some negligence on the part of the plumber, her tubes were all damaged and  the plumber was not willing to take responsibility. The plumber claimed limited liability based on the contract that was signed, according to him legally he was not responsible for the damages. The lady then went to her insurance company to make a claim for the damages and was told that her homeowners insurance does not cover damages caused by plumbers. She was stuck with a work that was poorly done, she couldn’t file any claims for it and she would have to pay someone else to do it. She is currently seeking other alternatives and trying to see what other options she has. Someone recommended sueing the plumber that did the job since he damages her tubes and didn’t say anything to her.

In the story above, the lady mentioned was also advised when looking for a plumber to do any work on her home she get a registered plumber, one that has the adequate plumber’s insurance if anything should go wrong. If the client was to sue the plumber mentioned above however, this can damage his practice and his plumbing business depending on the outcome. Plumbers can avoid situations like these by ensuring they are protected from anything that can happen, they need to ensure they have legal liability to avoid any claims for financial compensations that can be made against them.

Why Legal Liability Protection

Many plumbers believe that with normal general contractors insurance they will be covered for anything that can happen while they do their business. The problem with this is that general contractors insurance doesn’t necessarily give plumbers the exact coverage they may need for their specific practice. If a plumber doesn’t get insurance and is not protected by some kind of legal liability, he runs the risk of getting sued and his business shutting down. Some plumbers believe that the additional cost to have plumbers insurance and have protection under legal liability is too much. However, the problem with this way of thinking is if something were to happen, it will cost the plumber much more in the end to fix it. It doesn’t matter the size of your business, you need to protect yourself. Many plumbers believe that in order to cut cost when starting their business they can simply skimp on their insurance coverage. They believe that just in the beginning they can afford to not have insurance, the problem is they can’t afford not to have it either. Protecting your business at all cost should be very important to every plumber.

Because of many of the incidents that have been happening with contractors and with plumbers in general, people are being advised that when they are hiring someone to do their plumbing, they should hire someone that has some kind of insurance coverage. This is especially true for commercial projects and other large scale residential plumbing projects. Not being covered for any legal liability not only can damage your business if something goes wrong, it can also prevent you from winning contracts and growing your business. This is because no one will recommend you as a plumber to do anything on their property if you can’t provide proof of having plumbers insurance . In many instances as a contractor you can speak to your insurance service provider to ensure you have the appropriate coverage for the type of project you will be working on or you can get an same day qoute now to see what you need.

Types of Plumbers

There are two different type of plumbing businesses that will require insurance coverage when doing business. Depending on which one you are, there are different requirements that are needed. This however, depends on your City or State and everyone should check their insurance company for advice

The two types of plumbing business are:

  1. Plumbing Contractors
  2. Master Plumbers

Plumbing contractors can be further broken down into:

  1. Resident Plumbers
  2. Non-resident plumbers

Resident plumbers generally have to provide certificate of insurance and information about their license. Non-resident plumbers have to provide some of the same information and more depending on where they are doing business.

It is important to note that plumbers need different types of coverage depending on their business operation. Some plumbers may not need certain types of coverage while others may need all. Plumbing contractors need these type of coverage to protect themselves legally and it’s important to have legal liability protection at all cost. They will need:

  • General liability coverage or special plumbers coverage
  • Coverage if they have employees and some sort of workers compensation
  • Commercial auto coverage if they have vehicles in their business

The cost of your insurance will depend on many different factors some of which include:

  1. The size of your business- this includes the square foot and payroll
  2. The risk involved
  3. The exact type of coverage

As stated before, you may think that it is not wise based on the cost to get insurance to protect yourself and your business, but in the end, this is what can make the difference between you continuing your business and being successful and having to shut down operation due to a lawsuit.

In conclusion, having plumbers insurance and protecting yourself legally and otherwise should not be one of those business decision that plumbers and contractors neglect to make because they do not think it is necessary. This a rather important aspect of your business success and continued growth. While insurance may not be the only way to protect your business from any unforeseen risk that may occur, it is one of those things that can really save you in the long run. There are many different companies offering these types of coverage and helping plumbers and other contractors cover whatever liabilities that may occur. It is important to see what these people are offering and choose the one that can meet your needs fully.

Published: March 19, 2015

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